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Exploring the Performing Arts at Colgate

By James Carino '16 on March 6, 2016

Cabaret Fall 2015

I have been incredibly lucky with my opportunities in performing arts at Colgate! I have been playing piano since the age of six, and knew that I wanted to extend my love of music into the college setting in whatever capacity I could find. Four years later, I could not be happier with what I have been able to do!

I began playing music here my first year, when some fellow students and I founded a jazz/funk band called N0 Standards. We originally started playing together for fun, but slowly, we began playing gigs downtown and campus events, such as the Senior Ball and the Mardi Gras celebration. Now, the band is extremely well known on campus, and students go out of their way to attend shows!

I am also heavily involved in the semesterly Cabaret show. I began accompanying the show on piano my freshman year, and have done it every semester since, serving as a director since my junior year. One of the things I love most about Colgate is not only the level of musical talent and enthusiasm that exists, but also the level of support for it from other students. I performed in my last Cabaret a few weekends ago at the Palace Theater, and the theater was full to capacity – people were standing in the aisles, sitting on the back stairs, and even watching from the balcony. It’s truly amazing to feel that much support and appreciation from the campus community, and we couldn’t do the show without it.

From my four years at Colgate, I can tell you that we care deeply about the performing arts, and take them to the highest levels possible. Be it the Colgate Dance Initiative pushing for dance in the academic setting, to our a cappella, chorus, and chamber music groups touring worldwide, we take an “anything is possible” approach with the performing arts. Just last night, peers of mine opened for our first ever performance-oriented Global Leader Lecture Series featuring Aretha Franklin. What other college students can say that they’ve shared a stage with the undisputed queen of soul? That is a testament to the incredible position in which Colgate puts its students to pursue performing arts.

I did not expect Colgate to have many musical opportunities, given that it is a small school that very often defines itself in terms of its academic and athletic achievements. However, I have found so much fulfillment in being able to continue my passion for music here with the most dedicated, supportive, and fun community of performers that I could ask for. It is definitely one of the things I will miss most about my time here.

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